Type of Dominoes Used: Oriental
Type of Game: Oriental Dominoes
(aka Tien Kow)
Additional equipment: 1 pair of dice to be thrown at the beginning of the game to determine the banker. Number of players: 4 players.
Play: A banker is chosen by throwing dice. Eight tiles are dealt to each Player by the banker. The players examine their tiles, then, the banker leads by placing a tile faceup on the table.
The three players, in turn, follow counterclockwise around the table, each trying to take the trick with a tile of higher value than the others'. If a civil tile is led, the other players must follow with the same suit. If a player is unable to follow suit, he must discard a military tile. Similarly, if a military tile is led, the trick can only be taken by a military tile.
When a player wins the trick, he stacks the tiles in front of him and then leads the next trick with a tile from his hand. The game continues until all 8 tricks have been won.
The player who wins the final trick becomes the new banker and dealer for the next hand. if the banker wins the last trick, he remains banker; but the scoring of the new hand will be different, as described below.
After the last trick of each hand, the points are adjusted, usually by the exchange of counters. Then, the tiles are shuffled, stacked, and dealt by the new banker.
Instead of leading 1 tile, a player may lead 1 of the 16 named pairs or
1 of the 8 pairs comprised of:
6-6 and a mixed 9 (6-3 or 5-4)
1-1 and a mixed 8 (6-2 or 5-3)
4-4 and a mixed 7 (5-2 or 4-3)
3-1 and a mixed 5 (4-1 or 3-2)
The round can only be won by a pair of higher value. The Supreme Couple (2-1 and 4-2) only scores highest when it is led. Otherwise, it is the lowest of the pairs.
If a player wishes, he may lead with two pairs if it is his turn to lead. These can only be captured by two pairs of the same suit, civil or military, and one of the pairs must be of a higher value than either of those led.
Scoring: This is on a basic 4-point system:
* A player with no tricks loses 4 points to the winner of the last trick, who also becomes the new banker.
* A player with fewer than 4 deducts this number from 4 and pays the difference to the winner of the last trick.
* A player winning 4 tricks does not win or lose any points.
* A player winning more than 4 tricks deducts 4 from the number and claims the difference from the winner of the last trick.
If a banker becomes the new banker, the basic figure in the second hand becomes 8 instead of 4; at a third deal, 12; at a fourth 16; and so on. There is no limit to the number of times a banker may deal. There is usually an indicator on the table to show how many times the banker has dealt. When there is a new banker, the basic figure reverts to 4.
Extra points: If the banker leads the Supreme Couple, he claims la bonus of 4 points from each player. If a player leads the Supreme Couple, he claims a bonus of 4 points from the banker and 2 points from each of the other players.
If the banker leads any two of the following couples-6-6 and a mixed nine; 1-1 and a mixed eight; 4-4 and a mixed seven; 3-1 and a mixed five-he claims a bonus score of 8 points from each player. If a player makes the same lead, he wins 8 points from the banker and 4 points from each other player.
A game may finish at a set time or by mutual consent.